Into the kitchen…

The last post under “Vome” was in the bedroom, and now we move to the kitchen.  I started thinking about what I wanted in a cooking area and realized it’s really quite simple, ya need a stove.   But, a what kind of stove?  Well I’ve got in the old van a butane stove that I set on a fold up leaf.  A couple of two burner gas stoves, a single burner stove and then I guess you could throw in the backpacking options.  You see the down side to these is they require some kind of set-up.
Since this is in the words of another vanily member, my “forever van” I want the cooking arrangement to be quick and easy.  In a nutshell turn a knob light a match and cook.  Rain or shine, city or forest, desert or beach it has to be easy.  This leads me to building in a cooktop  that is permanent.   So I chose a two burner drop -in cooktop made by Suburban.DSC_0626Then i realized “Hey, I would like a sink”,  That’s where the trouble began….  The trouble is what kind, how big, what color, drains to where?….I found it!  Hammered copper bar sink.  It looks cool and I like it so it meets the basic requirements.

Hammered copper sink.
Hammered copper sink.

Now to figure out how to put it together in the van.   There are lots of things to consider… which side of the van, how wide, how much space into the aisle, how tall on and on.  I actually stalled for a couple of weeks at this point.  (Any excuse to not build and just sulk over the non-activity.)  But then I won a bid on the stove top and then I saw “the sink”.    While it was considerably more than just a simple drop-in stainless steel, it had character. And I knew it was the one.  So, I started building.  A simple box, then add the ends, and the top where the stuff goes…

Starting the frame...
Starting the frame…

The hole in the bottom is where the propane tank will rest.  The cabinet itself will be placed at the double doors on the passenger side of the van.  This will allow access from the outside to the cabinet.  My plan is to be able to use a hose from the propane tank to fire a stove, grill, or deep fryer when I ‘m cooking outside the van.  it will also allow me to open a window directly behind the cooktop when cooking in the van.  The addition of a vent and fan above the stove will help reduce heat and moisture buildup in the van.

So here’s some progress…

Starting the frame... A simple box.
Starting the frame…
A simple box.
Test fitting the pieces into the frame
Test fitting the pieces into the frame
Everything fits, now add the skin.
Everything fits, now add the skin.

At this point I will point out that the frame is made with 2″x2″ and 1″x4″ to keep the weight down.  The skin was glued and nailed in place to provide the strength.

Top skin in place and fit looks good.
Top skin in place and fit looks good.
DSC_0622
Fit looking real good, isn’t that a cool looking sink?

I’m going to close the post for now.  I found “the” faucet to go with the sink and not lower the coolness factor.

But, that will be the next post.  This has been a crazy week at work and while I’ve continued working a little bit each day I’m just now catching up the blog.

Watch for the next post, I found “the” faucet and it is awesome.  If you click the “follow” button you’ll receive a notice when the blog is updated.

To keep “Kitchen Stuff” in the same page I’ve added to this page these details on building the drawers….

New shop locatoin...
New shop location…

Continuing work in the kitchen, in the forest.  This is Koomer Ridge Campground.

The groove for the drawer bottoms were done on a router table.
The groove for the drawer bottoms were done on a router table.

I ran the boards for the drawers across my router table to make the groove or slot for the bottoms to fit in before leaving to come here.  I had the luxury of power at my home base so I decided to use the table instead of the battery powered dremmel  tool.  So far this is the only tool that has not been battery powered and portable.  Another couple of options would have been a hand plane made for this purpose, or even a 1/4″ wide chisel with a stop clamped on it.  And then if you don’t have the tools or the inclination to do that much work you could simply glue and nail the bottom in place.DSC_0631

 

A drawer can be elaborate or just a simple four-sided box with a bottom.  Whichever design you choose be sure and make your fastening secure as it will be a part that gets handled, a lot.  In my case I used a couple of flathead wood screws and glue at each corner.  Because I slotted the sides for the bottom, using glue to hold those in place adds to the overall strength.

Dry fitting to test
Dry fitting to test

I suggest using screws because this makes it much easier to “dry fit” and test for fit, you can remove them without causing damage and then apply the glue to reassemble.

Bottoms are in glue is drying time for a hike.
Bottoms are in glue is drying time for a hike.

Now that I know everything is going to fit, reassemble with the glue in the slots and at the corners.  When everything is dry I’ll round all the edges to make them smoother and prevent future splintering.  Watching glue dry is just not that interesting.  Layla and I are going for a hike, catch ya next time.

After finishing the drawers and some trim, plus several coats of polyurethane, it’s ready to install.

To keep things in place I used 3/8" hardware through the floor
To keep things in place I used 3/8″ hardware through the floor

And now a little plumbing..

A fresh water container and a grey water container. Pump is a pressure controlled demand pump
A fresh water container and a grey water container. Pump is a pressure controlled demand pump

Next to hook up the cooktop..

There's a "tee" installed and capped in the gas line for future use with outside cooker or heater inside.
There’s a “tee” installed and capped in the gas line for future use with outside cooker or heater inside.
Rear panels that pop off to hide the "works"
Rear panels that pop off to hide the “works”

Finish off the inside…

A little cupboard storage. The large panel below the drawers pops off to allow access to the propane from inside.
A little cupboard storage. The large panel below the drawers pops off to allow access to the propane from inside.

On the road again, this time to Texas.

It was nice on the maiden to pull into a shady spot and fix lunch.
It was nice on the maiden voyage to pull into a shady spot and fix lunch.

I’m working on another page/post for inverter loss and making it real.

Until then…

“Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure.”

7 thoughts on “Into the kitchen…”

  1. You have awesome talent. So envious of your ability to see it and make it real. I think your little kitchen area is perfect; well thought out, and it’s going to be perfect. LOVE that sink.

    1. Thanks Debbie, sorry it took so long to reply. Work schedule and working on van has my checking the blog a little erratic these days.
      In fact when I found out I had Saturday off I didn’t even work on the van. I threw the backpack in the car and headed for the gorge.

      1. No problem, Dan. Glad you had the time off. Everyone needs a chance to rest and recharge. 🙂

  2. Ok, ok ok I’m so busted! One of my “vanily” caught the deep fryer remark and chastised me about not listening during the food talk from my cardiologist. But I use it to make gumbo and stew… . Yeah yeah that’s the ticket. 😜

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